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In this episode, we meet Ted Prodromou, America’s #1 LinkedIn Coach, and talk about perception, connecting properly with purpose, and standing out online.
As you will pick up from this episode, Ted has bounced back from many setbacks and offers up a number of immediately actionable tips for super-charging both your LinkedIn profile, but also your online presence and online etiquette in general.
So get that pen and paper handy, log into your LinkedIn profile and be prepared to put your best foot forward!
A special thanks to Alex Mandossian for recommending Ted.
You can connect with Ted Prodromou on LinkedIn.
You can find Ted's books on Amazon.
In this episode we talk about
- How Ted got made redundant 3 times in 12 years;
- How co-writing a book with Perry Marshall launched his LinkedIn Coaching career, where he now teaches people how to connect properly with purpose;
- Some tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out;
- How to dial up your LinkedIn content management so that you are perceived to be associated with well-known brands.
On the LinkedIn platform as a whole
- The last three to six months, LinkedIn has been rolling out updates like crazy. And they really are pushing it as a content management platform, content distribution. So you post a video on there now, and it goes out to first, second and third-level networks. First-level is people who have accepted invitations with each other; so when we connected, your network became my second-level network. And then there’s the third-level network behind that. So now, content you post isn’t only seen by people you’re directly connected with. It’s seen by everybody, and it’s pushed out to Google and Bing now, and all the different other search engines.
- 83% of people will look at your LinkedIn profile now before they take a meeting with you. I’m always harping on telling people, “You need to complete your profile to make a great first impression!” What impression does that make of your company if somebody comes to your website and it's like, horrible looking? Or like a third-grader put it together or something like that? Same with your LinkedIn profile.
Profile improvements – Profile picture:
- They've made the images fit better, but with your cameras today, you can take a great picture. Stand in front of a blank wall and have somebody take your picture. Don't crop out a photo of you at a wedding or something or with a busy background. This is your professional image, people are out there looking at you.
- Say you're going to a meeting, you're trying to sell a $20,000 coaching package to a client. And they just looked at your profile and it's you half-drunk in a wedding somewhere and you got somebody cropped out and it's all blurry. And then you come in and say, “My charge is $20,000.” And they go think, “Who is this guy?”
Profile improvements – Professional Headline:
- One of the things, the professional headline they call it, is right under your name. And by default, LinkedIn takes your current job title and sticks it in there, but you can edit it to make you stand out.
- If you search for an executive coach on LinkedIn, there are literally millions of people with “Executive Coach” in their title. And almost all of them will have their job title, like Executive Coach at XYZ Company. That doesn't make you stand out. People are scrolling on their phones now, most of the time, so you have one second to get their attention.
- So I always use the USP, unique selling proposition. What problem do you solve and who do you solve it for? Get that into your headline and they'll click on it and learn more about you. I have the keyword phrases in there.
- One of my clients was a financial advisor, so I helped her create it. It said, “Would you like to retire with the same standard of living you have now or better?” That just got people's attention.
- Treat it like a sales letter, or an article. The headline of the article or a book. What's going make you pick up a book at the library and read it? The title. We're all in sales, whether we're working for a company or not. To get the job, you got to go in and sell yourself.
Profile improvements – Summary:
- Tell your story. Don't put it in the third person. It's more conversational and people really get to know you and like you faster. If you're writing in the third person, it’s pretty stuffy.
- They revamped the company pages recently, they've been evolving over a year. Now they have places you can post your products. They're called showcase pages so a company like Adobe has lots of different product lines, so you can create a showcase page for each major product line and then people can go there and have conversations about what's going on with that product, like Photoshop. But the company pages show up in Google search results, so it's a good way to get your name out there.
Posting Content on LinkedIn
- My strategy is to post a lot of other people's content, such as other LinkedIn experts’ from their blogs. And people ask, “Why are you sharing your competitor's information?” And I reply, “Because I thought it was a good article and a great tip.” I learned this from Dan Kennedy years and years ago when I was learning marketing, when I was failing as a coach, he always said, “The pie is big enough for all of us. You don't need to go after your competitors and destroy them.”
- And one of my wife's co-workers, her husband came up to her and said, “Wow, Ted is all over the internet, man, he is just crushing it.” And I'm just laughing because I wrote 20% of the content I'm sharing and 80% I'm sharing other people's. I've got it all automated through a programme called Sendible. Just pumping content out there with my name associated with it. So even if I share an article from Forbes magazine, people perceive me with Forbes magazine because they see my name with Forbes. It's all perception. But consciously, they're thinking, “Oh wow. Ted's really, he's posting 10 or 12 times a day on social media. He must be really famous and really know what he's doing.”
- Post as much as you can, but don't sit there and blast. Sometimes I'll connect with someone on LinkedIn and I'll see them all of a sudden, they're posting six or seven times an hour. That's too much. I do six to ten posts a day on LinkedIn throughout the day. I wrote four books now so I hired someone to go through the manuscripts and they created social media posts from excerpts from the books. And then I have those in these queues in Sendible so that they're just always going and recycling. Each post comes back about every three or four months, because I've got so many posts queued up now. But otherwise, I actually blocked out time to start writing one article a week.
Writing an engaging LinkedIn Article
- One really good trick, there's a site called quora.com, and people are asking questions about everything there. And I have a friend, he gets all of his LinkedIn consulting from answering questions on Quora and speaking engagements. And the articles only need to be about 500 words anyway.
- And don't make it all like you're perfect. I share a lot of vulnerabilities, things that have happened to me, big failures in my life. I share all that, and I send out to my email list, you wouldn't believe how many people reach out.
Accepting LinkedIn connection requests
- Everyone has all sorts of philosophies about accepting certain people or should they try to reach out to certain people. I kind of filter out people if their profile looks not great or they didn't even put a job title in. I won't accept them if they don't have a picture. And not to pick on certain people, but a lot are SEO experts and marketing experts, I don't accept theirs, because they're just going to try to pitch me something. I know they're trying to grow a business and stuff but they're not going to add value to my network. Just think about that. Who are all these people connected with, would their connections be valuable to my network?
- If it's the CEO-level or C-level, a lot of times, they don't really log into LinkedIn very often. Only 24% of LinkedIn members log in more than once a month. Now they're almost at 600 million, so that's still a lot of people that are active on LinkedIn. But with LinkedIn, if it's the CEO that you're trying to get to, you can send an InMail to them, but don't just say, “Hey, I want to connect because I want to work for you.” You have to compliment them and get creative of what's going to get them to accept your invitation. Open the conversation on other social networks.
- I've seen a new trend on LinkedIn. I don't know if you're getting this too. We all have that experience where you connect with people and say, “Hey, thanks for connecting.” And then they try to sell you something, a long sales pitch. Now they're starting to do that in the invitation to connect. Like, they're not even waiting to connect, they're already trying to sell me before I say, “Sure, I'll be your friend.” I can't tell you how many times people … at least three times a week, people send me a message. “Hey, do you need help with your LinkedIn? We are a LinkedIn lead generation firm.” I'll reply and say, “Did you read my profile?” They'll say, “Yeah, I read my profile.” I'll say, “What do I do for a living?”
Resources mentioned in the episode
- Contribution to an article on predicted LinkedIn trends for 2019 on Digital Marketer (Ted’s piece is two-thirds down the article)
- Snappr, a great resource for taking a high-quality LinkedIn professional photo
- Book recommendation: How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
- Book recommendation: Leadership and Self-Deception
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